Dr Peter Hilton,

I am so sorry you find mums, dads, children, grandparents, fundraisers, marathon runners, cardiac patients in rehab, people running to overcome depression, ordinary folk trying to stay fit and healthy, ironman entrants etc disruptive to your daily walk.

Speaking as one of those 'extreme sports' enthusiasts I'd just like to comment on two aspects of your letter.

Firstly 'excuse me, or passing on your right, etc' is a polite way of informing someone that you are trying to pass them.

If we don't do that people often jump in fright as runners are actually really quiet - (I never instruct "Keep Left" by the way and I don't know anyone who would use those exact words as that is quite rude).

We politely let people know we are coming so we don't interrupt their walk and they don't interrupt our run. We used to call that sharing and good manners.

Second. I have never been physically assaulted by a runner.

I have however been physically assaulted by a walker, on the coast path in Saundersfoot, last year, who demanded I stop running on the path, moved to block my way with arms outstretched and elbowed me fully in the side of the head as I tried to pass (I wish I got his name, as I could then have asked him for replacement of my glasses that broke when they hit the ground).

Runners are not extreme sports enthusiasts spoiling your walk.

They are just other people enjoying the same place you do in the same way, just a little faster.

You are obviously highly educated Dr, so why not pause to think, reflect, consider and evaluate your opinion from the perspective of the 'others'.

A whole bunch of them used that very path to get fit a few years ago and raise enough funds for the village school to invest in a new outdoor play area for the children.

Those runners are quite often the same people you might see litter picking on the same path whilst out on their own walks, or volunteering on community events.

How selfish they are.

Simon Batty,


Dad, runner, fundraiser, Ironman, middle-aged flab fighter, definitely not extreme sports enthusiast